A diary of my mothing activity covering highlights and photos from my moth trapping activities. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I may mention other wildlife sightings here, especially insects, but for birds see my birding diary.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A burst of activity at the end of April

I left my last post part way through 29th April so to finish off that day I found a White Oak Midget Phyllonorycter harrisella at Ryburgh.  That night the home trap produced a little more than recent nights including 3 new for the year here: Garden Carpet, Swallow Prominent and Bright-line Brown-eye.  It wasn't exactly heaving though - the rest were just Lesser Swallow Prominent, Muslin Moth, Common Quaker, 6 Hebrew Characters and 3 Early Greys.

Garden Carpet, North Elmham, 29th April

Swallow Prominent, North Elmham, 29th April

Lesser Swallow Prominent (left) and the same Swallow Prominent (right), North Elmham, 29th April

Bright-line Brown-eye, North Elmham, 29th April

On Sunday 30th I had a look round Sparham Pools in the afternoon finding about 45 Green Long-horns Adela reaumurella lekking near the car park.  Further round I found a couple more Long-horns which, in the field, seemed much less green - more golden.  Not entirely sure which species they were I took them home for closer examination, but looking at them closely they both seemed greener than I'd thought and I began to consider the possibility that they were just reaumurella like the rest.  In the end I think this one was - it was a male and its antennae were well over 3x longer than the forewing length which should rule out cuprella, the genitalia resembled reaumurella (but althouth I think I can see differences in images of cuprella genitalia I'm not entirely clear what the criteria are).  It did have some reddish-purple reflections along the costa but these were minimal.  Other similar species in other genera seemed to be ruled out either by size or flight-time.  In this photo it looks quite typical for reaumurella to me.

Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella, Sparham Pools, 30th April

The other one, which was the first one I saw in the field and really struck me as being more golden-bronze coloured, I think was Early Long-horn Adela cuprella.  I'm used to seeing these lekking on Sallows and this was in low pathside vegetation, so I wasn't expecting this result, but I think there may be Sallows just the other side of the hedge.  This one had much clearer reddish-purple reflections along the costa and although I can't find any images of female cuprella genitalia to compare it to there do seem to be some differences from the images I have found for female reaumurella.  As before, other similar species in different genera are ruled out by size or time of year.

[Update - having seen another identical female moth in habitat unsuitable for Adela cuprella I am now of the opinion that this was more likely another Adela reaumurella.  The genitalia of my two moths were identical and although I still can't find images of cuprella to compare them to I think I can now account for what I had perceived as differences from the published images of reaumurella].

Long-horn sp. Adela sp., Sparham Pools, 30th April

The only other moth I saw was a Common Oak Purple Dyseriocrania subpurpurella (thanks to John G for spotting that one) but there was this lovely weevil, Phyllobius argentatus.

Phyllobius argentatus, Sparham Pools, 30th April

On Sunday evening this Bee Moth Aphomia sociella tried to get into church...

Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, Norwich, 30th April

That night trapping at home was probably the best night of the year so far with 10 new species for the year: Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Chinese Character, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Brimstone Moths, 3 Waved Umbers, Pale Prominent, Pale Tussock, 2 Flame Shoulders, Clouded-bordered Brindle and Nut-tree Tussock.  Actually that was more than the moths that weren't new for the year, which were White-triangle Slender Caloptilia stigmatella, Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla, Green Carpet, Brindled Pug, Oak-tree Pug, 2 Yellow-barred Brindles, Cinnabar and 2 Hebrew Characters.

Chinese Character, North Elmham, 30th April

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (male, gen det), North Elmham, 30th April

Waved Umber, North Elmham, 30th April

Pale Prominent, North Elmham, 30th April

Pale Tussock, North Elmham, 30th April

Flame Shoulder, North Elmham, 30th April

Clouded-bordered Brindle, North Elmham, 30th April

There were also a few caddisflies around - my first at home this year.  They comprised 3  Glyphotaelius pellucidus, Limnephilus auricula and Limnephilus sparsus.

 Glyphotaelius pellucidas (female above, male below), North Elmham, 30th April

Limnephilus auricula (male, gen det), North Elmham, 30th April

Limnephilus sparsus (female, gen det), North Elmham, 30th April

No comments:

Post a Comment